Kathy Murray | Boston MA Listings. Real Estate

Written by Jim Vogel

Seniors looking to buy a new home: how do you know if a house is right for you? While some seniors have more money than others (some are living on a fixed income), and others are more mobile and healthy than others (some may have illnesses and disabilities), there are some similarities in all seniors’ interests when it comes to homebuying. Here’s what to look for.

  The house has very little wasted space   There’s a good chance that you’re moving out of your long-time family home, which probably has more rooms than you can use and more space than you’re comfortable having to manage. A good new home will have very little wasted space, meaning most of the areas of the home are used for a particular purpose. One way to know exactly how much space you will need in your new home (both in terms of living space and storage space) is to do the bulk of your item downsizing and decluttering early on in the house hunting process. This will give you a better idea of your true size requirements.   The house has an accessible, open floor plan   Many seniors either have or will develop mobility issues in the future. It’s best to consider those when looking for a home to age in place in. The right house for you has an accessible floor plan - perhaps a single floor or at least one with all essential rooms on one of the floors. It also has a more open floor plan, which will help you get around in a wheelchair, walker, or with a cane. Of course, you can turn most any home into a more open home by knocking out walls and widening doorways when you move in, but this can get costly. It’s also no fun living in a construction zone. Home renovations always cost more and take longer than you envision. Opt for a home that already meets most of your accessibility requirements.   The house has a small, manageable yard   Yard work - especially gardening - can be a wonderful activity for seniors. It relieves stress and promotes physical activity. But a big yard with a lot of grass and trees that produce a ton of leaves throughout the fall? That can be a real burden on someone looking to simplify their life. Seniors that aren’t able to keep up with a big yard either have to pay someone to take care of it or simply let it fall into disrepair - neither of which are great options long-term. The right home for you has a manageable yard that is mostly populated by walkways, low-maintenance plants, and patio space.   The house is close by your go-to locations   The right house for you will not put too much of a strain on your transportation situation. Whether you drive now or not, there’s a good chance that in the future you will have to rely on public transportation, rides from family and friends, church/medical shuttles, or ridesharing apps like Uber to get from your home to important locations. Try to find a place that’s close to where you like and need to go - a park, the grocery, pharmacy, your doctor, church, etc. Sometimes you know a house is right for you the moment you step foot in it. But often your heart leads you astray, making you fall in love with a house that may not be right. Try to think about more than the beauty of the home. Think about how it will help you in your downsizing, simplifying goals.   Sources Redfin -  https://www.redfin.com/blog/seniors-guide-to-downsizing right for you -  https://www.thebalance.com/find-right-house-1798317 homebuying -  http://www.uexpress.com/smart-moves/2014/3/5/tips-for-elderly-buyers-looking-to decluttering -  http://www.budgetdumpster.com/resources/how-to-declutter-your-home.php cost more and take longer -  https://www.financialsamurai.com/why-home-remodeling-always-takes-longer-and-costs-more-than-expected/ relieves stress -  http://awomanshealth.com/garden-away-your-stress/